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GCN : July 2014
Granicus launched an AppStore for its government customers that will allow them to nd, purchase, deploy and manage apps for government-speci c solutions --- including 311, citizen mo- bile, budget transparency, social media, recycling and solid waste. Granicus, which provides a cloud platform and applications tailored for government, said the AppStore would drive down procurement and manage- ment costs and accelerate adoption of cloud-based technologies. "Few government entities are equipped to manage large numbers of apps," wrote Javier Muniz, CTO of Grani- cus, in a blog post. Meanwhile, citizen developers and startups with ideas for improving government struggle to deal with the government's slow procurement cycles and bureaucratic purchasing processes, he said. "As a result of these two observations, we conceived of the AppStore, a plat- form that not only allows governments to manage the multitude of cloud-based applications that will become part of their daily lives, but also gives new, emerging technology companies the launchpad that they need to gain the traction that is all too important in this fast paced app economy," he said. According to Granicus, the bene ts of the AppStore are enabling users to easily discover new applications; consolidating app purchases with a single contract; and managing security and user roles for all apps in one place. Users' exist- ing credentials are used to automatically log them into their installed applications. Additionally, Granicus vets the apps it of- fers "with rigorous testing and real-world use by other government agencies," the company said. Granicus is not alone in its app store approach. Both Amazon and IBM also have launched their own app stores. In March, Amazon Web Services' cloud computing services met the Defense Department's security and compliance requirements, paving the way for more defense agencies to run workloads on AWS's cloud. IBM announced its app store in April. Agencies are also developing their own means of managing mobile apps. Last month the Agriculture Department rolled out a departmentwide mobility management service that includes an enterprise mobile app store that hosts custom and approved commercial appli- cations for devices. Further, the National Institute of Standards and Technology created AppVet, a free, open-source tool that IT administrators can use to test the safety and security of mobile apps. App- Vet integrates with app stores. Yet while app stores hold promise, the dif culty governments have in adopting new technology is cultural, not techni- cal, said Abhi Nemani, the former co- executive director of the civic-oriented nonpro t Code for America. Politicians, not technologists, are the ones who are initially planning the software; IT isn't part of the initial decision-making process; instead, they are asked to build software after the planning phase, he said in PandoDaily. And risk-adverse governments may be reluctant to install software that streamlines work ow because of the potential cost of bugs and glitches, Granicus's CEO Tom Spengler told PandoDaily. • AppStore gives governments access to municipal software BY KATHLEEN HICKEY Adopta is an inventory system for city assets that allows citizens to "adopt" the asset, whether it be a park bench, sewer drain, sidewalk, hydrant, bus shelter or other city- owned assets. ArchiveSocial provides a legal safety net for agencies to engage with citizens via social media by automating business-grade record keeping of communications on networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Boards & Commissions helps clerks and staff easily manage government body appointments, vacancies and applications. Captricity harnesses the power of machine learning and human intel- ligence to turn forms (paper forms, PDFs, faxes) into actionable data in hours with 99 percent accuracy. License123 is largest and most up‐to‐date database of all business licenses and permits in the United States organized by city, county, state and federal for over 100 busi- ness types. OpenGov provides instant access to a municipality's budget and visu- alizes current and historic revenue and expenses -- from multi-year trends to object-level details. SeeClickFix is a communications platform for citizens to report non- emergency issues and for govern- ments to track, manage and reply. Textizen collects rich, real‐time data via text message (SMS) surveys so cities and towns can engage citizens without using a smartphone app. Apps in the Granicus AppStore GCN JULY 2014 • GCN.COM 7